The 1968 Plymouth Road Runner was a muscle car that evolved to meet the requirements of the people who wanted an inexpensive mainstream model with an inexpensive special engine. This vehicle met the needs of the youth of the era, and it was clearly a very special car that many could drive with style and the utmost admiration.
The first 1968 Plymouth Road Runner was a muscled coupe, and was light and cheap, to make use of the Belvedere body. The engine was pretty powerful, too, and it had a four-barrel carb and a loud air cleaner, making up to 335 bhp.
There were some other qualities, such as a four-speed manual transmission, a beefed suspension, and 11-inch heavy-duty drum brakes, all of which went together to make the vehicle one of the smartest and most noisy muscle cars around! On the inside, the car was pretty much austere, and the price of this new car was only $2,896. By today’s standards, that’s not a lot, but it could be considered a lot in 1968.
At the time, Plymouth bought the rights to the car from Warner Bros., paying them $50,000 to allow them to decorate the car with a cartoon bird. Funny, no? It was now called the Road Runner, and it became an overnight sensation with young people all over the country. Sales were forecast at 2,500, but people bought this car up, and pretty soon 45,000 had been sold. Motor Trend called it a “non-compromising super car,” and the young people in America clearly found that it met their desires where they were, making it super popular.
You could even purchase additional performance: for $88, you could get a High-Performance Axle Package that made the car even better, and though this was somewhat of a disappointment for the cost, the car would continue to be popular. You could also pay an additional $139 for the Sure-Grip option, which many did. Pretty soon, a hardtop was added, and you could even pay $17 for the matte-black treatment to your hardtop (though this attracted the police for sure).
All in all, the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner was a success among the youth of America, and it outsold many cars at the time. It’s hard to think of a contemporary car that has had this much success overall as a car for the masses.
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